Close shave in Egyptian family feud

Two families in the Upper Egyptian Qena province decided to settle a feud with blades, but no lives were lost in the cutting that followed. Instead a family in Mahrousa village in western Qena held hostage a member of its rival family, shaved his moustache, beard, hair and eyebrows, then set him free.

Shortly afterwards, the family of the shaved man kidnapped a member of the other family and did the same to him. Then they celebrated their revenge by firing gunshots in the air.

A fight broke out between the two families until the police stepped in, arresting people and confiscating weapons.

The situation was resolved only when Qena governor, senior police officers, public leaders and parliamentarians interfered to bring about a reconciliation between the two sides, fearing the situation would have deteriorated.

Banners later appeared in the region with the slogan, ‘Take care of your moustache!’ In Upper Egypt, men consider their moustaches a mark of manhood and pride.

There have been many cases in the region where family death feuds result in an endless tit-for-tat series of revenge and hostility.

The violence is only resolved, sometimes after years, by reconciliation and the interference of public leaders.

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